Do you know any sports fanatics? They know the stats of their favourite team, they have the bio’s of their favourite players ingrained in their minds, maybe they have their own personal highlights of the team ready to share at any time? If the team has a distinct chant or song you know they have that down pat. Look in their closet and you will find a variety of shirts and jerseys with the logo. Most if not all of them are only connected to this team through the TV. Maybe they live close enough to have season passes but otherwise, they watch from afar. They have invested their lives into this team, yet they have no real stake in this team.
Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.
As believers, we should have somewhat of a similar investment in our faith. But unlike the team we support, following Christ is an investment that provides dividends to the believer. We are actually part of the body of believers, the Church where all the members are one. Yet we are also part of a team of local believers in a local church. Our investment in this local church and our support of it shows our passion to Christ. Have you ever met someone who is as passionate about their church as their favourite sports team? There are a few I can think of, but they are rare and far between. Why would then people be truly interested in attending your church if you are not passionate about it? And if you are not passionate about your church and what God is doing there why is that?
The local church is not meant to be a club where membership has its privileges. Most church membership is really just a way for the church to connect with the family. There are some voting things but it is not like a Costco membership with deals and savings for being a member. But each member is expected to make an investment in their time and yes money, to help grow the church not just in people but in spiritual maturity. We see here in the letter to the Colossian church that each believer has the ability to teach and admonish one another. Admonish means to build one another up in the faith, to encourage and for the lack of a better term fertilize. The work of God is infectious, Jesus was infectious, the more he did the large the crowds where that followed him out of curiosity. Ever revival in history has come out of obedience in prayer and the willingness of the church to do something. People then saw that the was doing something and were curious because the church was reaching out to them. If every member or churchgoer was to get involved and work to build one another up we would see more people curious about what your church is all about. If we personal talked about our church similarly to the way we love our team there would be a shift in perspective.
Lastly, when you meet with other believers where does your conversation go first? Weather? Politics? News? Gossip? Faith? I will be the first to admit that this has been a shortfall for me in the past. I tend to go with my ‘ favourite things’ as conversational pieces. Yet is not God one of my favourite things? He should be the centre of every conversation. We cannot expect others who do not know God to understand who He is if we never talk about Him and what He is doing in our lives, our church and our community. We need to be more active in our daily conversations including what Jesus has done for us. Like I mentioned two days ago, this isn’t something that we can overtask ourselves with, if we’re currently not doing it we need to go forward but not so far as to discourage ourselves. One step at a time and purposefully. If we don’t know how to swim we shouldn’t jump in the deep end, but that shouldn’t keep us out of the pool. Start doing something to bring the conversations back to God and what He is doing. What is more important, your team or eternal life?
Father, we need the wisdom to go beyond what we are doing now. We thank you that You have given us a family of believers in our local church. Help us to keep our eyes on you and what you are doing. Provide us with opportunities to share daily about your love. We want to be as excited if not more about your grace and faithfulness then our favourite things. Use us to reach those around us. Amen
(I used sports team in this, but it could easily be replaced with Movies, TV Show or any other thing you are excited about)